Metropolitan Statistical Area & Division Job Growth — February 2019

Axioms are truths with my primary Axiom being that Jobs Are everything to the economy and the ultimate demand for real estate.  Period.

Job growth, however, is not systemic across the country by state, Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) or Division.   Just like states, variability in job growth exists across all MSAs and Divisions at any in time and also within the same area over a period of time.  As usual, I invoke the TINSTAANREM axiom — There Is No Such Thing As A National Real Estate Market or a National Economy.  The same is true regarding job growth.   It varies from location to location and also at specific locales over time.

The first two tables table show the percent change in jobs for top-40 MSAs and Divisions with the largest percentage increase for the 12-months ending February 2019.  The analysis is based on seasonally adjusted data as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  In comparison, the U.S. posted a 1.70 percent gain in the same period.  There are recurring themes continuing throughout these top performing MSAs: energy, tech, travel destinations, college towns, government and manufacturing.

When there are winners, there are also underperformers.  The next two tables show the 40 markets with the greatest percentage of job losses or the least percentage gains for the 12-months ending February 2019.   All of the bottom 20 performers are relatively smaller, with just three having more than 100,000 total jobs.

The next tables show the 40 MSAs and Divisions that created the greatest number of net new jobs in the prior 12-months.   There is overlap in several markets.  New York City is included in the MSA and Division rankings of 1st (New York-Newark-Jersey), 2nd (New York, Jersey City-White Plains) and 4th (New York City).  Naturally, the largest cities have the greatest gains in jobs, but the percentage may not be that stellar.

Click here for a PDF including respective job performance for all 436 MSAs and Divisions. It is sorted alphabetically by state and the MSA-Division and includes percent job growth for the prior 12-months, net job gains and total number of jobs – in thousands.  In addition are metrics for job growth rates for the past 2-years, 5-years and 10-years, which were then ranked for each duration.  These ranks (for the intervals of 1-, 2-, 5- and 10-years) were then summed (the Growth Index Score), with the lowest sum ranked the best overall indicating the top-job performance (the Job Growth Index).  Based on this methodology, top scoring job growth over these four durations were:

1 St George, Utah
2 Midland, Texas
3 Provo-Orem, Utah
4 Reno, Nevada
5 Boise, Idaho


The primary Axiom is correct: JOBS ARE EVERYTHING when it comes to the economy and the resulting demand for real estate.  Period.


Leave a Reply